In the vast slogan T Shirt collection owned by Drama Teen, there’s one I really like. It reads: Unless your name is Google, stop acting like you know everything. News Flash. Even if your name IS Google, you still don’t know everything.
This is a lesson I have to battle incredibly hard to get through to the journalists of the future that I teach. Journalists are in the business of presenting news which is, by definition, new. In other words, if it’s already on Google, it’s not news.
This means using your eyes, your ears and most importantly your power of speech.
Talk to people.
They tell you things.
Some of it will be new.
So it was on the beach yesterday.
I was taking photos of a brahminy kite at the back of the dunes. A woman stopped and commented that she saw that bird there most days.
It was young and unafraid, she said.
Then she went on to tell me about the rare albino turtle hatchling they’d found on the beach just near where we were.
She even showed me pics on her iPhone.
This morning I read about the same turtle on the ABC News website.
Talking to people told me something Google didn’t yet know. And what’s more, my new friend was right about the kite.
This morning it was back, just like she said it would be.
It was there this afternoon too but I was more interested in the kite surfers reaching extraordinary heights in the strong winds and the dogs reaching heights in the chase for the ball.
Try finding that joy on Google.